One omission from the Oct. 31 Metro article “Reward vs. risk in Fairfax” was that there are alternative solutions for the future of the property along Dogue Creek in Fairfax County. A conservation easement or land donation of all or a portion of this site could bring significant tax benefits to the property owner while allowing an organization such as the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust to protect its natural value in perpetuity.
The trust stewards and cares for more than 120 such sites around Northern Virginia, from an 80-acre parcel on the Potomac River in McLean to one-acre urban lots in Arlington. Our work enhances water quality, protects scenic vistas, helps buffer parks and public lands, provides wildlife habitats and gives landowners the option to choose a conservation outcome for future generations.
This site is challenging and demands creativity and compromise to find a solution. We know that the fate of these eight acres is likely to affect similar properties.
Progress and growth in our region shouldn’t be judged solely on development but rather on livable, thriving communities with protected outdoor resources that enhance the quality of life of our growing population. Let’s take the opportunity to set such an example at this site.
Alan Rowsome, Annandale
The writer is executive director of the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust.